35 thoughts on “News/Politics 9-4-19

  1. First up, the other collusion myth Dems and Never-Trumpers were wrong about.


    “The Michael Flynn “thing” President Trump discussed with James Comey in 2017 wasn’t Russian collusion. It was the bogus Logan Act claim.”

    “It is the most damning memo in James Comey’s dossier on Donald Trump: An account of an alleged conversation between Comey and Trump about then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

    According to Comey, during a private meeting in the Oval Office on February 14, 2017, President Trump asked the former FBI director to drop an inquiry into Flynn about his discussions with the Russian ambassador shortly after the election. (Flynn had resigned amid media reports he possibly violated an arcane federal law.)

    “He misled the Vice President but he didn’t do anything wrong in the call,” Comey claimed Trump said to him. “[Trump] said, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

    According to Russian collusion truthers, those alleged comments form the most convincing evidence that Team Trump not only conspired with the Russians and tried to cover it up, but that the president broke the law by asking his FBI director to halt an investigation into one of his top advisors.

    The memo is cited numerous times in the second volume of the Mueller report to implicate the president for obstructing justice by interfering in the Russian investigation, although Comey’s memo is the only evidence of such an act. (Trump has disputed Comey’s description of the conversation.)

    Ever since the memo was leaked to the news media by a Comey pal more than two years ago, the American public has been warned how that brief discussion between Comey and Trump represented an egregious presidential power play: Trump, the story goes, was squeezing his top G-Man to stop looking into his campaign for conspiring with the Kremlin because everyone associated with Trump, we were told, was guilty.

    But that portrayal of events was never the truth. The conversation in February 2017 had nothing to do with the Russia investigation, as I’ve written before: Neither Trump nor Congress nor the general public knew at that time that James Comey’s FBI had been investigating Trump’s campaign, including Flynn, since July 2016.

    And the new report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) confirms as much.”


  2. Which brings us to Flynn.

    Can you say “prosecutorial misconduct?”

    I knew ya’ could…..


    “A Chance at Exoneration for Michael Flynn?

    A new motion by the former national security advisor’s attorney threatens to explode the government’s case.”

    “Michael Flynn’s new attorney, Sidney Powell, filed a motion on Friday formally accusing the government of hiding information that a judge ordered to be released in early 2018.

    Powell’s motion came the same day the parties filed a status report that laid bare the breakdown between the parties. Flynn worked in the Trump transition effort after the election and briefly served in his administration as national security advisor. Flynn’s guilty plea in November 2017 for lying to federal investigators appeared to be an early victory for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

    Judge Emmet Sullivan then ordered the special counsel’s office to produce “evidence [that] is material either to guilt or to punishment” ahead of Flynn’s sentencing. What followed was a seemingly interminable series of delays and continuances that puzzled the public as both parties seemed unable or unwilling to complete the Flynn plea agreement.

    Why has the gap between this order and the sentencing which has yet to occur already been 18 months? The answer may lie in the incestuous relationships among the get-Trump forces that coalesced in the summer of 2016.

    The Setup

    A little background, first. Flynn was ambushed by a surprise interview on January 24, 2017, in which he was asked about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition. The purpose of the interview was not to find out what Flynn said in those conversations because the government already possessed audio recordings of them. The government has since refused to turn over the recordings and transcripts to the defense in apparent contravention of the February order. It seems strange that the transcript that “proves” he lied is somehow not relevant to the judge’s order to the government to furnish all evidence of Flynn’s guilt and innocence. Shouldn’t a defendant be permitted to listen to the conversation he is alleged to have lied about before agreeing that he lied?

    Because of the contradiction between what Flynn said in the interview and what he allegedly said on the secret tapes, he chose to plead guilty. His plea agreement required Flynn to admit he “impeded” the government investigation by making false statements to the interviewing agents. Flynn admitted he told the FBI agents that he did not ask the Russian ambassador to “refrain from escalating the situation” in response to December 28, 2016 sanctions imposed by the departing Obama Administration. He also told interviewers he did not recall a follow-up conversation with the Russian ambassador. The plea agreement called for Flynn to agree that both statements were untrue.

    Keep in mind, the conversation between Flynn and the ambassador had nothing to do with the election and has never been charged as illegal conduct. By the time the conversation took place, Donald Trump was the president-elect and, in less than a month after the conversation, would be in charge of U.S. foreign policy.

    Requesting Russian forbearance from retaliation pending the change in leadership is a perfectly legitimate request for a newly elected administration and consistent with U.S. interests. One might compare it to Hillary Clinton’s desire to “reset” relations with Russia as a way to make a fresh start with the new Obama administration.”


  3. What to expect when you’re expecting….. FISA abuses.

    The whole witch hunt/hoax is collapsing. Those who spread this manure should be ashamed of themselves.


    “Now that James Comey’s corruption of the FBI has been exposed, the country awaits the next report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz. This one will deal with government misrepresentations to the special court that grants secret surveillance warrants on foreign agents in the United States.

    To launch a counter-intelligence investigation on an American citizen, like Carter Page, the Department of Justice applies to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. All warrants require accuracy and integrity, but those to the FISA court should meet an even-higher standard. Why? Because, unlike criminal warrants, FISA warrants remain hidden. The goal is to “spy on spies,” not haul them into court, so the application will remain secret, never challenged by a defense attorney at trial.

    That’s why the DoJ and FBI must certify, in writing, that the FISA application is truthful and complete and that the evidence it presents has been thoroughly vetted by the bureau. That’s what the Obama administration’s top law-enforcement officials did when they wanted to spy on Carter Page. It is becoming increasingly clear they were lying.

    Apparently, the court turned down the initial application — a very rare event — so the FBI and DoJ tried again. This time they bulked up the application with details from Christopher Steele’s dirty dossier. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, using two cut-outs (the DNC’s law firm, Perkins Coie, and the opposition research firm it hired, Glenn Simpson’s FusionGPS). The FBI’s second-in-command, Andrew McCabe, told Congress that the warrant would not have been granted without the dossier.

    The FBI, which also paid Steele as a “confidential human source,” never verified the dossier and did not even try until after the warrant was issued. The bureau hid the Clinton campaign’s involvement in a murky footnote. It said the informant, former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, was reliable. What it didn’t say was that he was virulently anti-Trump and the FBI had fired him for leaking. The law required the bureau to say so to the court.

    Even today, the Steele dossier has not been verified — and almost certainly cannot be. The author himself testified in Britain that he doesn’t know how much is truthful. The New York Times has suggested that it may be filled with Russian disinformation. Remember, this dodgy material was solicited and paid for by the Clinton campaign, Democratic National Committee, and the FBI.

    This essential background was hidden from the FISA Court when it granted four successive warrants to spy on a U.S. citizen because he was purportedly a foreign agent. That citizen, Page, had actually been cooperating with American law enforcement and intelligence for years. He came to them on his own and spoke freely after his occasional business trips to Russia.”


  4. Trump or the unhinged left.

    They are the fascists they claim he is, they’ve just been projecting.


    “Trump’s no angel, but liberals with their ugly threats have become what they claim to hate

    The people who have lost their minds can’t wait to talk to you.

    While participating in a charitable activity with my children and other parents and kids, a goofy guy who worked at the venue heard just enough of a conversation about politics to insert himself.

    “Did you hear that one of the Koch brothers died?”

    The parents just looked at each other. The goofball plowed ahead.

    “Well here’s hoping to a happy reunion!” he finished, clumsily wrapping up the non sequitur before returning to his task.

    The goofball looked so happy, simultaneously celebrating the death of one person while wishing it upon another in front of children, right after telling us how excited he was about the upcoming Bernie Sanders rally.

    The hackneyed sickness normally reserved for anonymous Twitter users is spilling over into real life.”


    “Biden seeks to lead a party full of activists who wish death on a conservative donor who invested in causes he cared about.

    The internationalists with whom Biden claims kinship publicly wish for powerful hurricanes to kill Americans and destroy our property.

    The people who fund Biden’s party openly advocate a return to McCarthyism, hoping to destroy the livelihoods of conservatives unwilling to acquiesce to liberal orthodoxy.

    Death. Destruction. Personal ruin. All conditions wished upon conservatives by liberal Democrats, famous and ordinary, trained to hate by political leaders who blame Trump for the ills of the world while themselves obtusely accusing him of hate and death.

    What voters do they hope to persuade with these savage threats and browbeating? When they do engage in policy discourse, it is filled with narrative instead of truth, lies instead of facts. They’ve become what they claim to hate.

    Trump’s no angel. He frequently sets a bad example by taunting and insulting his enemies and engaging in untruthful hyperbole on matters large and small. His antics range from head scratching to cringe worthy. He makes thing harder than they ought to be.

    And because of this, we are told we must return control of the government to the people who know better. Who are civil. Who don’t lie. Who treat everyone with respect.

    Let me know when they show up.”


  5. A conservative plan to reduce gun violence.


    “Recent mass shootings have prompted calls for new gun control legislation aimed primarily at rifles. However, most murders are not the product of mass shootings by people who want to make a statement, political or otherwise. They are committed on a small scale, with handguns, by ordinary criminals.

    At Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz presents a seven-step plan to reduce homicides. I have distilled his seven steps to six, which are set forth below, along with some of Horowitz’s commentary:

    Increase mandatory sentencing for gun felons: What if Republicans brought a bill to the Senate floor to increase mandatory sentencing on gun felons for those engaging in a violent crime with guns or those caught possessing guns after being convicted for aggravated felonies? There are so many stories of violent felons violating their probation by owning firearms, yet they aren’t sent back to prison.

    Increase mandatory sentencing for gun felons: Homicide in this country plummeted by over 60 percent precisely over the same period that gun ownership soared. Why? Thanks to Reagan’s Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), we actually deterred violent criminals with stiff mandatory sentencing. Yet for all the hand-wringing over “draconian” mandatory sentences, they were only mandatory from 1987 to 2005. Following the Booker decision of the Supreme Court, they have just been advisory. This has created a huge amount of disparity in the system, and in recent years, the lack of mandatory sentencing has decreased the successes of the Reagan-era laws. Take bad guys who use guns (or other weapons) off the streets, not guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.

    Fix court loophole allowing violent felons back on the streets: Four years ago, in Johnson v. U.S, the Supreme Court ruled that the “crime of violence” provision in the ACCA is unconstitutionally vague. That has allowed thousands of the worst career gun felons and other violent individuals to get out of jail early or escape reasonable sentencing to begin with. Just this year. . . Justice Gorsuch joined with the four liberals in expanding the assault on the ACCA, this time by saying that 924(c)(3), the statute that prohibits using or carrying a firearm during a federal “crime of violence,” is unconstitutional. . .It is simply astounding that the GOP-controlled Senate has not tried to fix this law, especially in light of Democrats supporting gun control. Now, armed robbers pointing short-barreled shotguns at store clerks avoid tougher sentencing at the same time liberals claim they want to “do something!” about gun violence.

    Allow good guys to carry everywhere: While we seek to deter bad guys with guns, why not allow peaceful citizens who undergo a background check and licensing to be able to carry in all 50 states with such a license, just as with driver’s licenses?. . .No state has the right to deny an unambiguous constitutional right, and one of the reasons we have a federal government is to protect those rights when states infringe on them.

    Fast-track death penalty for mass murderers: [I]t now takes over 20 years to execute someone, essentially rendering capital punishment worthless as a deterrent. [W]hite supremacist attackers, in particular, don’t seem to kill themselves as they attack, which means they would be more deterred by a swift death penalty.”


    Horowitz’s whole piece is here.



  6. The imaginary constructs of traumatized minds.

    Society needs to stop pretending this isn’t a mental illness.


    “Here’s What People Who Used To Be Transgender Are Telling The Supreme Court

    In an unusual amicus brief, a group of people who used to be transgender say that not only should gender identity not be a protected class, but that it’s an imaginary construct of traumatized minds.”


    “The Supreme Court will hear a pivotal case in October on sex, gender identity, and discrimination: R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As both sides build their cases, numerous influential organizations and individuals have filed amicus (friend of the court) briefs to aid the members of the Supreme Court in their understanding on this topic.

    One brief in particular stands out. It’s so powerful, it should not only persuade the Supreme Court but influence people on both sides of the transgender debate, particularly the mainstream media.

    There Is No Such Thing as Gender Fluidity

    The brief examines the personal testimonies of the following people, all of whom identified as transgender at one point, then reverted to affirming their sex: Walt Heyer, Jamie Shupe, Linda Seiler, Hacsi Horvath, Clifton Francis Burleigh Jr., Laura Perry, Jeffrey Johnston, Jeffrey McCall, and Kathy Grace Duncan. While regular Federalist readers may be familiar with regular contributor Heyer, the other names may be unfamiliar. Yet their stories are just as powerful.

    For starters, each of these people now believes, due to counseling, therapy, and personal experiences, that there is no such thing as gender fluidity or transgender. They now believe it is a fantasy many people try to make real.

    Take Shupe, American’s first person to secure legal recognition of a nonbinary, transgender identity. He is a former hero of the left. His transgenderism “became the driver for over a dozen states to adopt an X marker in addition to male and female on driver licenses.” He first identified as a “transgender woman,” then as nonbinary.

    The brief reads, “Publicly acknowledging that he is male and that his sex changes were a legal fiction has led to Mr. Shupe being shamed by the LGBTQ community for his beliefs that sex is binary and that those who struggle with gender identity issues need therapy and compassion, not to identify as a third gender.”

    Laura Perry is a former female to male transgender person who underwent hormone treatment and a double mastectomy. “Ms. Perry enjoyed the transition process at first, and she entered into a relationship with another transgender individual,” says the brief. “They attended LGBT events together but stopped when the members of the community developed hatred for her partner who was conservative. They viewed her partner as a ‘traitor.’ Ms. Perry and her partner also claim that ‘we thought these people are the most depressed people in the world,’ referring to the LGBT community. Soon after, Ms. Perry became aware of the fact that changing sex is not biologically possible, and that sex is binary.”

    Toward the end of Heyer’s story, the brief says, “For more than ten years Mr. Heyer has informally mentored and assisted scores of persons identifying as transgender who regret changing their appearance to that of the opposite sex. He encourages those who contact him who have gender dysphoria to seek psychological and psychiatric assessment for other disorders that are also present, which is the case in a majority of those who desire to identify as persons of the opposite sex.”

    These claims fly in the face of what many on the left, including the transgender person on the other side of this particular Supreme Court case, say. To make matters worse, the media have also attacked former transgender people and ridiculed their stories as unreal.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Interesting.

    So those horrible, really bad, terrible tariffs we keep hearing about are out of control now…..


    On average, $460 a year, per family. A little less for poor families, a little more for richer than average.

    I did the math for you. $38.30 a month, or roughly $1.27 a day per family.

    Now I ask you, is that too much to ask you to pay for a little while to finally deal with decades of billion dollar trade deficits that hurt our economy and country? Less than a cup of coffee, as Sally Struthers would say…..

    So stop being a whiny cheapskate and deal with it.

    “It is the latest move in a drawn-out conflict between the world’s two largest economies. This round — a 15 percent tariff on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods as varied as cereal bowls, paint brushes and pajamas — is likely to hit American households in the most direct way yet.

    By how much? About $460 over a year for the average family, according to an analysis from the economists Kirill Borusyak at University College London and Xavier Jaravel and at the London School of Economics.”


  8. Oh, and that $1,27 a day is for the tariffs currently on AND those yet to be enacted, so it’s actually lower.

    But I love how the NYT acts like this is just terrible news. 🙂


  9. And note the NYT headline error above. Their link and the economists they interview say 460 a year, but the NYT headline says by the end of the year. This is inaccurate according to their own story. 🙂

    “How Much Will the Trade War Cost You by the End of the Year?
    By QUOCTRUNG BUI and KARL RUSSELL September 1, 2019
    About $460 for the average family, according to a new economic analysis.”


    Yet the article clearly states…..

    “By how much? About $460 over a year for the average family, ”


    Not by the end of the year or 3 months, but for the entire year.

    What a joke……


  10. Are there any statistics on how many murders are committed by legally-obtained guns/rifles? I’d be especially interested in that stat for Baltimore City. I suspect that gun laws are a joke.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. For the past several days, I have been following a hurricane that no one west of the Appalachians cares about. It virtually destroyed the Bahamas.
    Anyhow. We have a hurricane. I haven’t followed anything else. But last night, a man on FoxNews described an event concerning a boat tragedy off the coast of California. Over 30 people died in a boat fire.
    The more he talked, the less I understood.

    It seems there was a cruise ship. It had above 30 passengers. They were all bunked downstairs. One stairs exit and one escape hatch. Suddenly! For no reason described, a fire broke out. It spread so fast that no one below could get out of the stairway nor the escape hatch. What caused this fire, must have been an explosion to spread so fast, was not explained. The reason the people could not get out is not explained. Someone mentioned locked door. But doors lock from the inside, not outside. There is an escape hatch, but it was also engulfed in flames.

    Seems very strange to me. There will likely be an investigation. First question? Does anyone benefit to any extent by the death of any of the passengers?
    Why did the fire spread so fast? Only a gasoline fire spreads that fast.


  12. They were sleeping down below in bunks with only one exit. The fire broke out very fast at 3 in the morning. The only people who survived were the crew who were awake and only by jumping into the sea.

    My sailor had several ideas why, but could only guess before noting, “Ships are not designed for exit doors immediately to the outside.”

    A tragedy.

    But the Bahamas story is worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes, both tragic. I saw an overhead view of the destruction in the Bahamas last night, awful.

    On the charter dive boat accident, there has been some speculation about a propane tank exploding, but no one really knows yet what caused such a fast, massive fire onboard. Our beach-cities beat reporter is there covering it (he has a boat and has many contacts in that tight-knit community). One of our locals who retired from publishing a diving magazine a few years ago (and a cousin a friend) also was going to be on that trip with his son, but he had to cancel due to complications from a hip surgery.

    The Coast Guard & FBI are investigating, the last I heard the boat was upside down on the bottom of the ocean. They did say last night there were no locks on those doors, but this apparently raced through so fast that no one could escape in time.


  14. Among other ideas about the onboard fire and how fast it spread: oxygen carried in the divers’ tanks onboard (they were headed out on a diving excursion to the Channel Islands just off the coast), and the vessel’s wood hull which could have added to the fast spread of the flames. But the boat was regularly inspected, was apparently in excellent shape and had a glowing reputation for safety compliance.


  15. I call BS.

    “Unfortunately, the trade wars took out the farmers by accident.”


    That might be true, were the govt. not subsidizing their losses.

    They lost around 11 billion, the govt repaid them 12 billion. That’s a net gain, not loss.


    “Trump’s farm subsidies: How much is our state getting?”

    “When President Donald Trump’s administration announced a $12 billion aid package for farmers struggling under the financial strain of his trade dispute with China, the payments were capped.

    But many large farming operations have had no trouble finding legal ways around them, records provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act show.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the first Market Facilitation Program (MFP) in July 2018 to help agricultural producers who may have suffered due to recent trade disruptions with China.

    USDA estimated Chinese retaliatory tariffs enacted last year caused roughly $11 billion in damages to U.S. farmers. The government provided up to $12 billion – mainly in the form of direct payments to farmers — to offset those impacts from October 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019.

    Recently, a second round of funding was announced, authorizing USDA to provide up to $16 billion in additional offsets, much of which will also be direct payments to farmers affected by the trade war.

    Although many farmers received significantly more than the stated maximum payments, the program set payment caps per person or legal entity in three categories:

    $125,000 for crop commodities (soybeans, wheat, cotton, corn and sorghum)
    $125,000 for dairy production and hogs
    $125,000 for fresh sweet cherries and shelled almonds
    This means a person could receive maximum of $375,000 — if they produced commodities in all categories — or a maximum of $125,000 if they produced commodities in only one category. Business operations can get more than the stated maximum, but individual farmers can not.

    Explore this database to find out how the subsidies were distributed.”


    And your state of Texas spent quite a bit of time eating from the govt provided trough. To the tune of about 240 million dollars, with Cotton farmers leading the way with 179 million of those subsidies, or 74.5% of the total paid to all cotton farmers. Sorghum another 40 million, soybeans another 6 and a half mil, 5 and a half mil for wheat farmers…. all just in Texas.

    So stop with the cheapskate act.


  16. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2019-09-04/burning-boat-takes-clues-of-fatal-fire-down-to-watery-grave


    Burning Dive Boat Takes Fatal Fire Clues to a Watery Grave

    Experts say important evidence into what caused the California scuba diving boat fire presumed to have killed 34 people may have sunk to a watery grave.

    By Associated Press, Wire Service Content Sept. 4, 2019, at 10:24 a.m.

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials have vowed to find what sparked the inferno aboard the dive boat Conception that killed 34 people in waters off Southern California, but vital evidence may have gone down with the ship or drifted out to sea.

    The main piece of evidence, the charred remains of the boat, rests on the sea floor in 60 feet (18 meters) of water. Other items that could provide valuable clues could have been carried away by tides or destroyed in the blaze that burned so hot DNA is needed to identify the dead.

    “All of that will be a very large hurdle to overcome,” said George Zeitler, a former Coast Guard inspector who runs his own marine investigation firm. “It will definitely make for a complex investigation.” …

    … The leading causes of boat fires are, specifically, electrical problems and, generally, stupidity, said Walter Godfrey, who has investigated more than 2,000 boat fires in a career spanning a half-century.

    By all accounts Godfrey has seen, Truth Aquatics had a good reputation and a clean record of service and was not the type of outfit to employ do-it-yourself electrical wiring.

    “I don’t think they’d be cutting those kind of corners,” Godfrey said. “I would think just off the top of the head this would have to have been something totally accidental and not something … you would anticipate.”

    Coast Guard records show fire safety violations on the Conception in 2014 and 2016 were quickly fixed. There were no deficiencies found in February or August 2018 inspections. …


  17. And this:

    The fire, investigated with help from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is being treated as an accident and there’s nothing to suggest anything “nefarious,” said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lt. Erik Raney. (AP)


  18. Like several recent polls, yesterday’s IBD/TIPP showed Biden with a 12% lead over Trump. The other major Dems also led Trump but not by nearly as much. Unlike the other Democrats, Biden can compete with Trump among uneducated whites. Those voters don’t care about Biden’s gaffes any more than they care about Trump’s.



  19. Polly says what?

    I love all the doom and gloom you linked comes back to the same union hack and one farmer that hates Trump there Ricky.

    Apparently they’re the go to mouthpieces. 🙂

    Why they’re everywhere…. Forbes, Newsweek, MSNBC, Yahoo, WaPo, HuffPo, you name it. All the same…….


    Oh, and did I mention they were “activists” too? 🙂

    As the last link on the page shows, Kuygen and that very same ND Farmers Union and VP have been pulling this same grift since at least 2013.



  20. As I mentioned before, a Trump vs Biden debate would a living train wreck. Watcjing the spectacle woukd be worse than rubber necking

    Not sure putting farmers on a 16 billion dollar welfare is winning a trade war. I’m also not certain the American farmer is benefitting from the subsidies. Most are going to the corporate sector.

    If past history is an indication Republican congressmen will be sure to enjoy some of the largese.


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